Sword-killing case back in court

Alleged sword killer Morne Harmse is expected to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Harmse, allegedly brandishing a samurai sword and wearing a mask, stands accused of killing 16-year-old Jacques Pretorius at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School on August 18.

He also allegedly stabbed and injured another boy and two gardeners.

At his court appearance on Wednesday, the public prosecutor is expected to decide whether the case must be heard in the regional or high court.

Harmse is facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

During his last court appearance in November last year, defence attorney Dolph Jonker told journalists that a bail application for Harmse was abandoned because it would not be successful.

“There is not much prospect for bail, but maybe in the future,” said Jonker.

At the time he described Harmse as in a good frame of mind and “more talkative”.

Previously, Harmse underwent a two-month psychiatric evaluation at the Sterkfontein mental hospital, after which he was declared fit to stand trial.

According to a psychiatric report, Harmse had no mental illness or intellectual disability and would be able to follow court proceedings and assist in his own defence.

“At the time of the alleged offence, he was both able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions and able to act in accordance with such an appreciation of their wrongfulness,” the report said.

Psychiatrists at the time recommended that Harmse be monitored because he had expressed suicidal ideas.

During initial consultations with a psychiatrist last year, Harmse said he had seen a ghost in a field on a farm his parents rented, which instructed him to become a Satanist.—Sapa

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